Fabio Quartararo, won the Catalan Grand Prix in Barcelona, boosting his title chances by incidents involving all of the championship rivals.

Reigning MotoGP champion, Fabio Quartararo cruised to his second MotoGP victory of 2022 at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya, as Francesco Bagnaia was eliminated early in the race due to a collision.

As the race entered Turn 1, the Yamaha rider got a lightning start from third to come alongside Bagnaia on the long run down to Turn 1 and then outbrake not just the Italian, but pole-sitter Aleix Espargaro to surge into the lead.

Bagnaia, on the other hand, was hit from behind by a crashing Takaaki Nakagami after the LCR Honda rider lost the front of his machine while attempting to pass Pol Espargaro, the Japanese racer also colliding with Alex Rins’ Suzuki in the process, putting all three on the sidelines.

Nakagami had a fantastic start from 12th place, but when sweeping from the inside line to the outside, he tagged fellow Honda rider Pol Espargaro’s front tyre with his rear and crashed out.

As he landed, his head collided with the rear of Bagnaia’s Ducati, knocking him out, while a now-riderless LCR Honda catapulted Alex Rins into the air off his Suzuki on the outer line.

In the lead, Quartararo made an early move from Espargaro, who was soon overtaken by Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin. The Pramac Ducati rider was relentless enough to dive down the inside of Espargaro at the first corner of the third lap, and while Espargaro countered seven laps later at the same corner, Quartararo was already more than three seconds ahead.

Espargaro was unable to make any progress on Quartararo’s lead before slipping back into the grasp of what was now a pair of Pramac bikes with Martin joining in the podium race by Johann Zarco.

However, Espargaro’s second place transformed into fifth as he appeared to believe the race had ended a lap early, denying him a podium and forcing him to fight off VR46 Ducati’s Luca Marini on the final lap.

As a result of his error, he trails Quartararo by 22 points heading into Barcelona, while having a 31-point lead over the third-placed rider in the championship, Bastianini.

Pramac’s Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco finished third and fourth, respectively, behind Quartararo, with Martin ending a four-race losing streak in which he had only three points.

Joan Mir finished fourth after storming through the field from 17th on the grid, ahead of Espargaro, and Luca Marini finished sixth for the second consecutive race, just ahead of Maverick Vinales’ second Aprilia.

Brad Binder finished eighth ahead of KTM teammate Miguel Oliveira, while Alex Marquez battled from the back of the grid to complete the top 10 after being diagnosed with a minor concussion the day before after his devastating FP4 accident.

Remy Gardner won the rookie duel with a late pass on RNF Yamaha’s Darryn Binder, the duo finishing 11th and 12th, respectively, ahead of Franco Morbidelli’s factory Yamaha.

Ducati’s Jack Miller finished 14th, followed by Gardner’s Tech3 teammate Raul Fernandez, who earned his maiden MotoGP point, as well as Ducati tester Michele Pirro and a fading Pol Espargaro, in what was, as expected, a race of heavy attrition.

Aside from Nakagami, Bagnaia, Rins, and Bastianini, Ducati rookies Fabio Di Giannantonio and Marco Bezzecchi, as well as Honda’s Marc Marquez stand-in Stefan Bradl, all retired early.

Andrea Dovizioso was the other rider to retire, pushing his RNF-run Yamaha into the pits after 17 laps. Gresini’s Enea Bastianini also DNF for the second time in as many races after crashing from seventh at Turn 5 at mid-distance. The Italian team’s weekend was a complete washout as Fabio Di Gianantonio wrecked from ninth at Turn 13 just seconds later.

With Quartararo’s victory, he now has a 22-point advantage over Espargaro heading of the German Grand Prix in two weeks, with Bastianini retaining third overall but now 53 markers behind.

CATALUNYA MOTOGP, BARCELONA – RACE RESULTS

POSRIDERNATTEAMTIME/DIFF
1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)40m 29.36s
2Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP22)+6.473s
3Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+8.385s
4Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+11.481s
5Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+14.395s
6Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+15.430s
7Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+15.975s
8Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+21.436s
9Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+26.800s
10Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+30.460s
11Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+32.443s
12Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*+32.881s
13Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+33.168s
14Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)+34.693s
15Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+37.844s
16Michele PirroITAAruba.it Racing (GP22)+44.533s
17Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+46.199s
 Andrea DoviziosoITAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)DNF
 Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*DNF
 Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP21)DNF
 Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*DNF
 Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)DNF
 Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)DNF
 Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)DNF
 Stefan BradlGERRepsol Honda (RC213V)DNF

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